New addition to this post: Enter the contest below to win a free ticket to a Hay House Event!
I met Wioleta Gramek, Digital Marketing/PR Specialist for Hay House, on the first day of Book Expo America (BEA) and was immediately drawn to her warm smile. When she mentioned how much book promotion is changing and that some of the things that worked a year ago aren’t working anymore, I became curious. What is working? What new things are they trying?
Here’s what Wioleta shared with me:
Lisa: What are some of the things that make it easiest to market an author’s work?
Wioleta: Already having a website which includes an email sign up page, additional valuable content, and an image of their book cover with pre-order buttons. An author should have a facebook fan page where they are already interacting with their audience, and a newsletter or periodic email where the author is providing their audience valuable information.
Wioleta: Cheryl Richardson speaks with her audience through her newsletters, Facebook and twitter. She is very active in all of her online communities, making it a point to answer Facebook posts and tweets.
I would also take a look at Dave Carroll, whose new book United Breaks Guitars, is the direct result of his involvement on YouTube. You can take a look at his Facebook page as well.
Lisa: I love how much Cheryl offers to her community, though her social media and her Hay House appearances which I’ve been fortunate enough to attend. Cheryl Richardson coached me to a breakthrough in front of the whole audience in Boston. And my son and I LOVE Dave’s videos. So, those are great examples of authors connecting far and wide.
How long have you been at Hay House and how much of that time have you been focusing on digital marketing/pr?
Wioleta: I’ve been at Hay House close to 3 1/2 years now. I’ve focused on marketing in the online realm in one form or another since I started working here. I worked with and managed our affiliate program, worked on the planning and implementation of our online campaigns for book launches and also dabbled in our blogger outreach.
Earlier this year, I was given the opportunity to focus primarily on our blogger community with the launch of our new site: Hay House Book Nook.
Wioleta: Authors are now asked to build an audience/community early on in the publishing process, really finding and communicating with the people that resonate with their message. Although traditional media for the book can do wonders, a lot of the promotion really needs to come from the author a lot earlier than it used to.
Even though social media sites have been around for quite some time, some authors still have not set up a presence on social media sites, we encourage them to do so and coach them in the best ways to use them.
Wioleta: I came in when “partner campaigns” for non-fiction books were at their prime. Although they still have a place in non-fiction book marketing, the strategies and the expectations from all parties involved have changed quite a bit.
Lisa: What strategies are a must-have?
Wioleta: Making sure to cover all of the avenues you know your audience participates in. Be it video, Facebook, newsletters, Twitter, everything centers on conversations and building yourself as a credible brand. An author can’t just speak to and sell to their audience; the conversation has to go both ways.
At this point it is very important for your audience to not only get value from purchasing your book, but also finding value in whatever other content you are willing to share. The question really becomes, how can you make your audience a part of your community and your message? “What can I give my audience that will be of value to them and how can I serve their needs?”
Wioleta: I think continuing to deepen relationships between authors and readers will still be the case in the future. As to exact strategies, there is so much continuously changing in the digital sphere that it is really hard to say what exactly will and won’t work.
Wioleta: If an author has a Facebook page or a Twitter account, they need to respond to as many questions as they can and engage their audience in actual conversations. Also, there are still authors out there who don’t have websites.
Wioleta: Start early and be of service to your audience. Connect with and support those around you both online and off, don’t use social media only to brag about your own accomplishments, share the amazing things your audience has done.
Lisa: That’s a big one. While it’s always been the case that fostering relationships builds your business, the web has turned business into a Karma club–the more good you do for others, the more it comes back to you. And you can’t afford to sit that one out, locking yourself in a room to write the book. Thank you, Wioleta. I invite readers of this blog to ask their questions of Wioleta below as a comment and feel free to share your book promotion successes as well.
Wioleta and Hay House have generously offered a free pass to 2 winners to their choice of either Speak, Write & Promote: Become a Mover & Shaker in New York City or The Writer’s Workshop in New York events. Just add your insightful comment or ask your question–the most interesting comment and question will win the tickets.
There is a magic that occurs when a writer is generous and touches the lives of their readers. How would would be 3 steps to making your connection with your audience more magical
Hi Kate, great question. There’s something about the personal touch and showing yourself as a real person. Share how you came to the conclusions or plots in your book by tying them to the experiences you have had. Share your struggles and how you overcame them. Take the time to really get to know your audience and share how they’ve inspired you.
Thanks Wioleta for this supportive advice….and for choosing my question, I feel blessed!
Hilary Crowley says
Thanks for this fantastic interview with such a leading publisher in my field. I have a very simple question from an emerging author’s POV….If I’m going to create a 2 way conversation with my audience , how do I filter folks to keep my professional/ personal boundaries clear in an online world? Do any authors work with a pseudo-name?
Hi Hilary, it’s very important for you to set up online channels that correspond with your own personal brand. One strategy is to keep your own personal Facebook page for family and friends, but make sure you start a fan page that you can point your existing audience to and be better able to control that boundary.
Jan Deelstra says
Do you sincerely believe that there is a place in the industry for self-published authors that is not just a rung above pond scum status? I’m ready to publish my 2nd non-fiction book, Escaping the Chrysalis, and I am debating sending more queries or simply paying the price of fame through Balboa or Infinity. An honest opinion is appreciated. Thanks Wioleta. I’m enjoying your candor.
Hi Jan! I believe that there definitely is a place for self-published authors. When you decide to self-publish, you still need to make sure you have a support system like you would by going through Balboa Press, Amazon’s self-publishing service, or hiring your own editors, designers and everything that goes in to publishing and distributing your book. Whether you continue to look for a traditional publisher or decide to self-publish, it really all comes down to the effort you put forth and the quality of your work.
We recently published 2 books that were originally self-published, Bronnie Ware’s “The Top Five Regrets of the Dying” and Karen Noe’s “Through the Eyes of Another.”
I agree it can be challenging for an author to be writing a book and trying to build a platform at the same time.
Is it ever suggested to outsource the social media angle? If so, do you have places to look for that?
Hi Joy, it can definitely be challenging, but it can also be very rewarding to be the one engaging with your audience. They can really become your source for inspiration and motivation. You can get support with the basics of editing your blog posts, posting your blogs, or posting to your other social media channels. There are a lot of tools out there to help with your outreach that work differently for different people and there’s a great post on some of them on the Social Media Examiner blog here: http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/13-tools-to-simplify-your-social-media-marketing/
Margaret Welty says
Hi Joy and Lisa! My website, http://www.drawingfree.com provides lots of unique and well illustrated, spelled out opportunities for people who want to begin to draw and be more creative in all areas of their lives. From Drawing Free you can get to http://www.margaretwelty.com which is my artist, teacher, tv host and author website.
MY QUESTION: I am wondering if you give training and tips to your Hay House authors that help them be more personal and one-on-one in FEEL when they develop and maintain a digital connection with their audience? I am also interested in knowing if you have some solutions that you use at Hay House in editing and developing a writer’s work that make their books and blogs more intimate and connectible in a deep and satisfying way to the reader? My goals include wanting to create a person-to-person tone and touch where my reader feels heard and known. It would be great to hear your thoughts and suggestions. YOUR ideas will be appreciated and applied!!!
Hi Margarete, we do our best to provide as much information as we can to our new authors coming in. Reid Tracy, our CEO, frequently shares some great tips on his twitter (@reidtracy) his Facebook, and on our Hay House Writer’s Workshop Facebook page.
Unfortunately, I am not involved with our editorial department, so I can’t speak to your second question.
Margaret Welty says
Great to have Reid Tracy’s twitter contact and to know about your Hay House Writer’s Workshop Facebook page.
This has been excellent information!
Daisy Wong says
Thanks for the article. I have fears that I am not being real. How can I be 100% authentic when I start writing my book? I have never thought of myself as a good writer, would you suggest getting a ghost writer?
Lisa Tener says
I’ve been leaving it to Wioleta to answer most of these entries, but I couldn’t help but answer yours Daisy. If you want to be real and authentic, you’re more likely to achieve that by writing your own book, rather than have someone else write it.
I work with authors all the time who don’t think they can write and it usually dates back to some teacher in grade school or a parent or other authority figure who told them they couldn’t write. Some of these very same authors have gone on to winner national book awards!
One of the main rules of good writing is “Show; Don’t tell.” Use all your senses (not all at once of course) to make what you’re writing about become real for your readers. That’s a great start. Perhaps you just need a good writing class or editor.
Daisy Wong says
Thank you so much for your reply. You are absolutely correct, I don’t think I can write. I am totally new to this type of work but feel that I have a lot of wisdom to share. I think a good writing class would give me the self confidence that I am looking for to be fully authentic!! Thank you. I love Cheryl Richardson’s work and think that her workshop would be a great start as well as a good writing class. How do you get started? I started a notebook and have been writing down ideas and stories from my life, I am just not sure what to do from there? I picture this wonderful book written by me at the end but I can’t seem to picture the process to get there.
Lisa Tener says
Daisy, I have a process which I call “Quick Start to Kick Start Your Book” – a self-study program with CD and workbook/course. You can get it in a physical version or download here. http://www.lisatener.com/store/quickstart
That is a great place to start.
Margaret Welty says
Excellent and inspiring advice!
Amanda @RunToTheFinish says
This was such a great interview! I am a huge fan of hayhouse and the fact that they don’t publish everyone, but truly authors they believe in and want to promote.
Should writers have a website where they are posting daily (i.e. a blog) to keep the conversation flowing with their audience? If so is there any concern this will take away from their creative time/content ideas to write another boom?
Hi Amanda, it’s not so much the frequency of your posting, but the quality and value that you are providing that keeps people engaged. In my opinion, if you force yourself to post a blog daily, the likelihood that you burn out is very high. It’s best to figure out what works for you, and you can also poll your audience to see how often they would like to see your posts.
Lisa Tener says
I heartily agree with Wioleta. Also, you may want to have guests posts or interviews to make it easier on yourself and also bring in new voices.
I believe it is enough to believe in your book and “know” it. Marketing and promoting is not necessary, nor is it part of knowing. It is, however, part of the fun of the experience if one wishes that.
Lisa Tener says
Hi Neta, That is an interesting perspective and I think it depends on your goals. If you are referring to law of attraction when you speak of believing in your book and knowing it, I would refer you to both Esther Hicks and Mike Dooley who often talk of the importance in that process of taking inspired action. I would add that often this inspired action can be in the form of marketing.
I LOVE how much Hay House shares … and this blog post was exceptional! Wioleta Gramek and Reid Tracy are such wonderful teachers … and so are the Hay House authors. Not only are people like Louise Hay, Cheryl Richardson, Wayne Dyer (and on and and on the list goes!) God-sent guides in raising consciousness, the way they connect with people and serve the world demonstrates that by giving, one receives. Hay House has a wonderful model for book marketing, at a time when book publishing is no easy task (I’ve been to the BEA — when you see how many books there are — I’m amazed how any rise to the top!). And — for anyone who thinks “marketing” is a negative word — it’s really just reaching out to make frequent connections with people who can benefit from what you have to offer — to be successful, I believe you do have to do that. Thanks for sharing — I enjoyed your perspective!
Thank you Janette!
Leah Carey says
Thanks for a really insightful and interesting interview!
I have spent a lot of time recently considering how my inherent personality traits affect my work. Specifically, I have some introverted characteristics – I’m at my best one-on-one or with small groups. On stage, people find me compelling. But in a crowded room full of people who are networking and marketing themselves, I don’t feel like I shine. I’m realizing that the power of my work and my writing is largely thanks to my ability to go inside and be introspective and to lead other people to that same place. I wouldn’t change that. However that begs the question: what suggestions do you have for introverts in an industry that seems to demand extroversion?
Hi Leah, I can completely relate to you. We can be the harshest judges of ourselves, thinking that we forgot to say this or that, the important part is not letting that get in the way of trying again. You can always continue your conversations with those you met online as well.
Lisa, maybe you have something to add?
Lisa Tener says
This is the number one challenge of many writers. My advice is: 1) write the best quality writing you can, so that it does stand out, and that means hiring an editor if needed 2) use your strengths for marketing. If it’s writing, than start your own blog and work your way up to a large national blog like the Huffington Post or something national but in a specific niche for your readership. 3) Do use twitter and other social media, if you can, to network with others who write for these audiences.
Leah Carey says
Thanks Lisa and Wioleta. Very helpful. 🙂
petra nella says
Thank you for giving me an opportunity to ask you and Hay House the question if we all share the same interest about the importance of educating our children in a way that they can become the way showers of how to co-create a more sustainable future with loving relationships, living in harmony and peace with each other and nature and to stay connected to our authentic selves?
These days it seems more difficult for our children to get them to read books. I’ve been particularly interested in accessing the market of Hay House because I believe that there are already conscious parents and educators interested in the well being of our children but I’m not sure if there is still a market for children’s books or will it be advisable to explore ebooks and what can you say about that.
Hello Petra, thank you for your question. We have published some children’s books in the past. I would have your agent query our editorial department to see if they are accepting children’s book manuscripts at this time.
Edward Smith says
Thanks, that was a good insight into a company that takes a different approach to their authors and does a good job. Thanks again, Edward Smith.
Cheryl Lynn says
I am a natural born psychic through my father’s lineage and I have appeared on national television and several radio programs. My 2012 Predictions have over 23,000 hits on You Tube and my 2013 Predictions are popular as well. Many of my predictions come true. I would like to write a book introducing myself and my psychic background but mostly to publish my predictions and have a record for them. There is alot of things coming up for America and the world. I can break the predictions down into years, etc. Anyway, this is a different kind of book. Any suggestions on how I can promote a book like this? Thanks! Psychic Cheryl Lynn
Hi Cheryl Lynn, although it may be a “different kind of book,” I think a lot of the points above still apply. I would highly recommend a website with a newsletter sign-up if you don’t have one already.
Karen Auld says
Besides networking with other authors and reading acknowledgements in books, how does one go about finding an editor?
Lisa Tener says
Karen, I assume you mean a developmental editor or copy editor (and not an acquisitions editor at a publishing house). Those are two good ways you just mentioned. Feel free to e-mail me with information on the genre and topic of your book and I can recommend someone.
lisa at lisatener dot com.
Errin Johnson says
When you are starting from ground zero on a social platform I feel this could be a great opportunity for me to lay the foundation that I would like to build on verses seeing I have no platform. 🙂 I am seeing a good advantage of starting this way, if the platform is about building meaningful and engaging relationships; this will bring about long term and repeated connections of humanity. I am plugging in to newer social platforms as I go but the focus is on that personal connection and my reader or audience and it is unknown territory for me to communicated in a way to build authentic meaningful connections…takes personal growth and open and diverse mind and then there is your writing and all the digital wave, so I feel my focus should be building the foundation theme first and learn on to build a meaningful and engaging platform with the modern era of social platforms. Do you have any insight on this type of foundation and what has worked for you or your Hay House friends and authors. I have started twitter, Facebook etc but feel it may be important on the content of each platform to be consistent with the foundation and it should inspire creativity. Food for thought. Thank you, so much for allowing us to share. Errin 🙂
Hi Errin, if I’m understanding you correctly, figuring out your message and going from there is very important. Once you have your message, it’s a lot easier to figure out who the audience is that resonates with it and then you can build out your content strategy.
Pat Mitchell says
I have a question- as I’m trying to prepare to become involved in blogging–and using my facebook page more- if my book isn’t published is it worth putting a segment on fb and then tweeting about it to get others to read it?
Pat, I really think it depends on what your ultimate goal is in doing so. Are you looking for feedback or just to get excitement surrounding your book? I’ve heard of some authors using a blog as a way to write their book and get feedback on their writing. I’ve heard of others who have revealed parts of their unpublished book to see what the interest would be, in turn providing the author with that added motivation to either finish the book or finally figure out a way to get it published.
Hello! The website linked is my blog which is in a sense the testing ground for my book. It would be helpful to me as a writer to get more interaction/feedback from readers. My question is, how do you get more views on your blog/site? I post on all my social networks, but I don’t have a plethora of fans there, either. Thanks!
Hi Wren, have you spent time reading and commenting on like-minded blogs? I would also suggest asking questions at the end of your posts to encourage commenting from your readers.
Angelina Birney says
In Dr. Wayne Dyer’s book, WISHES FULFILLED, he mentions living from the end, that your imagination is a potent field to be used to attain your goals. Although their are definite writing and editing skills needed to get your ideas across, do you see manifestations of success with authors which you can attest has a lot to do with their attitudes about themselves and their work? It appears that for some authors, Wayne Dyer being one example, as well as fiction authors like James Redfield, that their writing has been timely and seems to fulfill a greater need.
Thanks for your thoughts.
Hi Angelina, just like life in general, I believe if you have confidence in yourself as well as your message, you’ll do great. You just need to remember to keep your eyes open to all the opportunities surrounding you.
Lovely post about a lovely publishing company. A total dream to engage and connect with individuals from Hay House/Balboa Press.
I love the point about an author’s connection to their audience (through Facebook , etc.)
This summer is dedicated to writing, writing, and MORE writing … it’s a great pleasure to read up on such wonderful insight.
At what point in the process is it appropriate to begin using social media? While I have written a book I would like to have published, I have not yet sought an agent. Would it be premature to create a website and/or Facebook page at this point?
Lisa Tener says
Wioleta is on vacation, so I’ll be answering any additional questions on this post. You can begin social media before even writing the book as a way to connect with bloggers, journalists, potential readers, etc. I would definitely recommend creating a website and facebook page before seeking an agent–agents want to know that you have some kind of following (author platform) to work from or they will wonder whether you really have it in you to connect with potential readers and sell books.
Vivienne Simon says
Thanks! I’m writing my first book and this is exactly the kind of information I’m looking for, to help me navigate the pr side of publishing.
Lisa Tener says
Vivienne, you’ll enjoy this post I just put on the Huffington Post which focuses on
Lisa Tener says
And our winners are… Kate, for her question about 3 steps to making your connection with your audience more magical and Leah Carey for her comments and question about advice for introverts in an industry that demands extroversion. Congratulations, we’ll be contacting you to receive your tickets (and choose which event). Thanks again to Wioleta and Hay House for offering these tickets to our winners.
I know the contest is over but I would still like to ask this question regarding the building of your book’s platform. What’s the best way to write a blog about a non-fiction book that’s still in the process of being written and published without “giving away” or duplicating what the book actually says? Thank you.
Lisa Tener says
It’s a great question, Doreen. One option is to write about things that are tangential to the book. Another is to write about the book’s subjects but not in as much detail. Some people put it all in their blog, but it does mean someone else may use your ideas. There’s no right/wrong answer.
Amazing article and very helpful information! Thank you so much!
My question is, what is best to avoid posting on social media sites and how personal should an author get with what they share. Because I had a chance of seeing some very unusual and pretty personal posts/photos from some authors on social media platforms.
Lisa Tener says
Michella, it depends so much on your subject, personality and genre. First, think about what works for you–and remember anything you put on social media will be available forever. So if you don’t think you’d want your future employer, spouse, children or grandchildren to read it, for instance, don’t print it.
Also, what is your goal with posting something personal? Does it contribute to your vision or goals? If not, consider skipping it. If you think personal information will help your audience connect with you and it serves your goals and feels in integrity, then it may be appropriate. If you’re not sure, it probably isn’t.
But when you say “start early” does that mean before we write the book or after?what kind of convo do I talk about?
Lisa Tener says
Great question, Stephaine. Yes, start before you write the book if you want to build the largest following. Start with a website and a blog if you can. Use social media and traditional media. Offer something free on your website that people get in exchange for giving you their name and e-mail address. That will help you gain a following and have a way to communicate with them when the book comes out (and before that, too, to develop a relationship with them). I have a great interview with Louise Crooks that talks about how to create a juicy opt in gift. Read that and listen to the audio.
Diane Bestwick says
The article and the questions and replies were very informative for me…A year ago I self publish a novel about China’s one child policy…And A Bird Sang, by Diane Bestwick. I have lived and worked in China for 8 years and had many Chinese people read my story to be sure it was authentic, rather than a western woman’s (Canadian) view point. I have sold over 800 copies in the first year, with the profit being given to a foster home in China.
It is available on Amazon and kindle and I have given many speaking events to promote it.
Please check my website and advise of any improvement to keep the sales up.
I will spend the month of February 2016 volunteering at the foster home in china and anticipate learning more about the effects of the change in the one child policy to two allowable children.
I sincerely want to keep the sales of my authentic novel growing as I realize the world is my market, and truly want to reach my readers in the best possible way. Any advice from you would be appreciated.
Thank you in advance.
Lisa Tener says
Congratulations, Diane. Howard VanEs has helped several of my clients with Amazon Marketing Tools and Sales. His website is http://www.letswritebooks.net.